A statement by the Durham Association of Educators says they “cannot endorse a return to in-person learning.” The statement also included a series of demands the group characterized as “guiding principles for a safe and equitable re-opening.”
The statement acknowledges that Durham Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga has been clear he will partially reopen schools and lays out the cohort plan in its opening paragraphs.
The Durham Association of Educators supports the idea of safety-conscious families being able to choose online instruction for their students for the remainder of the school year. We believe that DPS staff should be given that same choice,” the statement reads.
The statement continues, with a veiled threat of a sick-out type strike citing that “the rate of COVID-19 infection and spread is on the rise both in Durham and across the state” and that “We worry that forcing staff to return to what they feel are unsafe learning conditions will undermine staff morale and lead to resignations.”
The Durham Association of Educators (DAE) is without question the most radical teacher association in the state aligned with the National Education Association (NEA) and its affiliate, the N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE). The DAE has been a driving force behind most major education protests as well as political protests in the state. Until his election as vice president of the NCAE, the DAE was led by socialist Bryan Proffitt, a history teacher in Durham Public Schools.
In the latter half of the statement, the DAE refuses to endorse returning to the classroom but also believes they know better than their superintendent.
“While DAE cannot endorse a return to in-person learning while COVID-numbers are spiking, there are some elements of Dr. Mubenga’s proposal that we like and other elements that we think need to be improved,” the DAE statement says.
The DAE’s first demand, that “schools should remain remote while COVID infection rates are above 3%” would arguably keep schools closed for the foreseeable future.
Last week, the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry told the N.C. State Board of Education that schools are “not a big driver of cases” and that children “have relatively low rates of infection and are not driving our increases.”
The second demand, “Decisions should be based on health and safety assessments, not political pressure,” is the definition of tone-deaf given the DAE and NCAE have both worked to keep schools closed in North Carolina.
The DAE’s third demand states that “No staff member or student should be forced to choose between their health and their job or education; in-person instruction should be something that staff and students opt into, not the default.”
That third demand ignores that all other industries are back at work besides teachers and that remote instruction is just not cutting it. Additionally, students really haven’t been given an “opt-in” option — they’ve been forced to stay at home, in part due to activities by teachers unions like the DAE
Read the full statement: